Why Do I Write

I’ve been writing poems since I was a kid. I have an old notebook filled with really simple elementary rhymes about an old red truck (I listened to country growing up. Makes sense right?) and being on fire for God (classic youth group imagery right there). The more that I’ve written, especially this year, the more I’ve seen my reason for writing. I don’t know if I knew this what why I wrote, or if the meaning found me but here it is. 

It’s to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

After spending a month in a hospital with my daughter right after she was born my wife and I were confronted with a lot of hurt pain and joy. All mashed together. Some people were crying and celebrating because their kids were getting better. Others were there crying because their kids weren’t getting any better or had even left this world altogether. 

I’ve been to many funerals in my life, but I haven’t been to many hospitals. Funerals seem like the time where even though were sad and it’s hard, they are more removed from the fighting for their life than in hospitals. The realization that someone is here and then isn’t any longer is one of the rawest emotions that I truly struggle with every time I'm faced with it. 

For those people, I want to comfort them. They need our love. Our support.

I found myself turning off the radio after a recent friend lost their newborn daughter. Those songs just don’t work in a time like that. I wanted to be that voice, that friend that walked together with them through the pain. Through the unknown, having no answers for them that could take it away. I want my songs to find them and offer just that. A friendship that carries them through. 

In the same breath, I want to wake up those who are sleeping. I don’t want people to miss this life. We’ve only got one. What a shame to waste it on thinking that we can coast. To those, I hope my songs kick them off the couch and into action. To see life through someone else’s eyes. To engage the world in which they live. 

Like a hospital has doctors and nurses that see patients on the rise and the fall, I want the songs I write and sing to be there for all.

The Reason I Traded It All

We were expecting out first child talking about the stereotype of now that we are parents we better be responsible and can’t do anything crazy anymore. For me, that was a motorcycle. I’ve always wanted one, bad enough to the point that I wrote a research paper back in High School about how they aren’t as dangerous and my parents tried to make them seem. 

Regardless, I knew things were going to change. We were talking on the way back from telling my wife’s family in Ohio that we were expecting. I remember the exact spot right outside St. Mary’s Ohio that the thought, I traded it all and now I wouldn’t trade a thing came into my mind. I quickly threw my phone at my wife for her to type it down before I forgot it. 

I waited till we got to a stop sign when I snagged it back from her to finish writing the lyrics to the third and second verses down. This idea that life is about trades isn’t new. Of course, there are many things that we trade. It was truck cards for me, baseball or Pokemon cards for other kids. We attribute worth to certain things that we willing give up for something in our minds that has more worth. It’s the same reason others trade with us. They see what we have as more valuable than what we have and the trade is made. 

This is essentially how our economy works except it’s with money and goods or services. The value of what we get is worth the cost of what we pay. 

What I still find hard to grasp is that in God’s economy, I traded my filthy rags to become His Child because of Christ sacrifice for me. That is a trade that I am so thankful for, but in the expanse of the entire universe seems so unfair on my account. I have done nothing but dishonor and shake my fist at God and yet while I was still doing it, He chose to pay for it so that I might know the riches of His glorious grace. That makes me want to fall down on my face every time. 

So why did I write it?

I wrote it to remind myself and others that trading is okay. It’s okay and the you have a choice. You get to choose what you give away. In fact you have a responsibility to choose, otherwise you are giving someone else the ability to tell you what they think is more important for your life. 

Don’t waste it. Make the trade.